GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — In a Facebook Live, CMU administrators shared the COVID cases at Colorado Mesa University have been relatively low this semester. However, in the recent week, there has been a slight surge of newly positive cases at the school. CMU is looking to stay on campus this spring, so with the positive case count growing at the school and in the county, CMU is improving its current coronavirus pandemic plan before the Spring 2021 semester starts.
CMU has partnered with Mesa County Public Health, as well as other health professionals, to prepared for the future. One major change the school has implemented into is current COVID system is a new saliva direct test to diagnose coronavirus cases. The saliva direct test has a quicker turnaround time than the original nasal swab test. Therefore, CMU can contact trace quicker and contain outbreaks faster since the test samples no longer need to be sent to another lab off-campus.
CMU administers almost 1,000 COVID tests per week, 250 of which are random, and although some students are getting tired of the constant testing, the university does not plan to slow it down.
John Marshall, CMU Vice President of Student Services says the testing is exactly what has allowed the student to remain on campus, so the university plans to continue to aggressively test and get accurate results in a quick amount of time, and in turn, it will isolate those cases and prevent spreading.
CMU is also focused on improving mental health options for its students during this time. So far, the university has increased its health providers and hours at the student wellness center.